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Questions tagged [writing-style]

Questions about writing style in English

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In American English are the following three examples good to use for colon capitalization useage?

I know that a variant of this question has been asked before, and recalled what my Creative writing teacher told me about when to use capitalization after a colon, by using the following three example ...
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1answer
33 views

Which method should I use in writing? [closed]

When I am writing, should I let my thoughts flow naturally on the paper, or should I meticulously think them through and form full sentences out of them before putting them to paper? I'm really not ...
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How to structure an english essay? What language to use? [closed]

I have a writing CAT in 5 days, and it’s about bullying in schools, and how to deal with it. It’s supposed to be a speech formed essay, so ‘I’ and ‘my’ words are allowed. I was wondering how to write ...
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Is it correct to use “neither”, “nor” and “but” together? [migrated]

Is this sentence grammatically and stylistically correct? They mightn't experience neither obsession nor attraction but real love.
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Is ‘the reason why’ somehow objectionable?

It has just come to my attention that some consider ‘the reason why’ ungrammatical or otherwise unfortunate. David Crystal mentions it in his introduction to Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English ...
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2answers
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Were days ever written as ordinal numbers when writing day-month-year?

I know that the day is written as a cardinal number (1, 2, 3) and not an ordinal number (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in the day-month-year and the month-day formats. But was there ever a time when ordinal numbers ...
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33 views

When introducing an initialism for the first time in a paper, but the noun is possessive, do I make the initialism possessive as well?

E.G., "Mobile network operator's (MNO's) networks are overloaded." Or "Mobile network operator's (MNO) networks are overloaded."
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34 views

The em dash, and correct usage in the sentence that follows [duplicate]

As I walked through the channel — I knew it was over. Is this a correct usage of the em dash?
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28 views

How to discuss my unexpected experimental results? [closed]

In my research, I found that my proposed scheme does not provide very "high performance" gains as compared to the conventional scheme I was testing against. Still, my results are better and I am ...
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24 views

Style guides on dative alternation

Is there any style guide on how to use dative alternation in writing? It looks to me that dative construction is rarely mentioned (if ever).
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Alternate use of “Curation” as a noun

Stylistically, can "Curation" be used as a noun to describe the items being curated, instead of the act of curating? (e.g., a curation, these selected curations, etc.)
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How do you express in english the idea of noticing something

I'm writing an essay, and I'd like to write at the beginning of the text that it is important to notice the ambiguity of the question I'm asked. How can I do that properly in english? I'm my language,...
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“worth” with possessive(s) in coordinated nominals

According to Garner Modern English Grammar The idiomatic possessive should be used with periods of time and statements of worth — 30 days’ notice (i.e., notice of 30 days), three days’ time, ...
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2answers
53 views

Does this comma matter?

Commas always trip me up. I feel that I use them far too often, and I most likely do. Can anyone set my mind at ease in regards to the following sentence: Neutrogena is a family-oriented brand ...
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1answer
36 views

Correct term for Parody/Mock writing

I was at the bookstore and came across a book titled, "You have to Fucking Eat" The book was written in the style of a child's picture book while the content and underlying message is more mature ...
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Is this good style: “Other than that, we didn’t discover anything else.”

To me, "other than that" and "else" at the end feel redundant. I would cut one or the other.
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44 views

Is this an acceptable way of writing the count of items in a sentence?

My father served in the logistics branch of the Indian Air Force and he had a very particular style of representing the number of items of a certain object. For example, he would use this sentence: ...
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Correct capitalization when starting a sentence or headline with a parenthesized word

What is the correct way of capitalizing the following sentence? (Most) people are good. Should people also be capitalized? Or is it incorrect that most is capitalized? Finally, does the same ...
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1answer
36 views

Beginning list items with numerals

Most well-known style guides dictate that numbers should always be spelled out at the beginning of a sentence (Forty-seven percent of people...), even to the point of recommending rewriting to avoid ...
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3answers
61 views

Two close prepositions; how do you not end with one?

I've always had difficulty ascertaining the way to approach structuring a particular type of sentence re: the situation in the question title. There are probably all sorts of ways to restructure ...
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1answer
60 views

Does one resign their office, or resign from office?

Stylistically, is it more appropriate to use it in the transitive, or intransitive way? Merriam-Webster has examples in both cases. In Nixon's resignation speech, he says "Therefore, I shall ...
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2answers
83 views

What is the equivalent of “euphony” when applied to writing?

In the details below, I use something to stand in for the word I am looking for. Speech may have euphony; writing may have something. For example, when writing about the relative sizes of items, I ...
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926 views

How to say “I hope you will have fun/it will be great” in a different way?

I want to use "I hope it will be great" as this positive, supportive, and showing your excitement for the other sort of statement. Not exactly sure how to describe so I will give a few examples. Like ...
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What “of” should I replace with Saxon genitives? Avoiding too many “of”

I'm trying to write a short scientific article and ended up with this sentence: Now we show the result of the analysis of the sequences of events with the data from the study. As you can see there ...
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1answer
81 views

Use of italics and BrE single quotation marks

I'd like to know when to use italics and when to use single quotation marks should be used. For example: The word he was looking for was ‘abjuration’. vs The word he was looking for was ...
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197 views

How do you write the opposite of a statement?

For instance: "I am joyful." Is the opposite "I am miserable," or "I'm not miserable"? The opposite of "I am" is "I'm not" or even "you aren't", and the opposite of "joyful" is "miserable". When ...
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Using capital case on every word of a title [duplicate]

I have to write a post for my college website and it is the format of a "listicle". An introduction followed by short paragraphs with each paragraph getting a heading. My question is regarding these ...
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28 views

At the beginning of a sentence in dialogue that sounds incomplete, should you use an apostrophe?

I'm not sure where I picked up this habit, but I think it might be grammatically incorrect. I'm a fiction writer and have just started working on a new novel, so I want to clear this up before I get ...
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1answer
70 views

When should I use “Figure out the rest” vs “figure the rest out”? Does it matter?

I'm writing something where a character tells someone else vaguely something that that she did in the past and then tacks on "I'll let you figure out the rest" at the end. Then some of the notes of ...
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1answer
34 views

What are the best alternatives to sentence structure “A, but B; therefore C?”

I'm stuck in a rut. Today I wrote, "I planned to reboot my computer once a week, but an update forced it, so I left it up the rest of that week." I feel like I use that structure too much, but that's ...
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2answers
62 views

What do humanitarian sciences refer to?

When to use humanitarian sciences and human sciences in contrast? According to my uni materials, humanitarian sciences should have something to do with scientific function style of texts.
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39 views

Why are English language essays written in past tenses?

As we are studying English from the nursery the thing that always confuses me is that whenever we write an essay it should be in past tenses and I always find difficulty in writing essays that way. I ...
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Correct way to reference sub bullet list [closed]

d. Include documentation of rating ______ i. Show rating of ______ ii. Include overall ______ 1. Provide relevant documentation ______ In the example above, how would the last 3 ...
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71 views

“to whom it may offend” vs. “to whom I may offend” [closed]

In my opening speech, is it right if I say I apologize to whom it may offend" or "I apologize to whom I may offend"
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The train just arrived at platform six is the delayed 13.15 from Hereford

The train just arrived at platform six is the delayed 13.15 from Hereford. Q; In the above sentence, I assume "13.15" means hour and minute. But do you think writing hour and minute like this ...
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1answer
39 views

“Washington biographer” or “Washington's biographer”

Which of the following is correct? Washington biographer Ron Chernow says... Washington's biographer Ron Chernow says... The only difference that comes to mind is that the latter implies ...
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1answer
38 views

Can I use “although” at the beginning of a paragraph?

For instance... "Although it is hot outside, I put my jacket on. I then proceeded to take it on and off, all day long. I am not sure why I did this."
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1answer
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Hyphen/dash 'and'-separated words in the same phrase: is this usage correct?

I have a phrase like this: John enjoys translating economics- and IT- related articles Is this a correct usage of the words economics- and IT- related? I think I saw such method of joining ...
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1answer
40 views

If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks?

If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks? e.g. Everyone's so intimidated by "big data."
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35 views

Does it need quotation marks on abstract nouns

I know for sure it needs quotation marks on verbs do, love and etc, in following sentence: Human related actions like "do", "love", "hate", "sacrifice", and so on. Because it would not be right ...
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New Yorker “Who”/“Whom”

Has The New Yorker changed its "who"/"whom" policy? Recently, I noticed--for the first time in fifteen years of more or less consistent readership---two occasions I considered non-standard, both from ...
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3answers
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Should I use a capital letter after a code example? [closed]

I often write documentation related to code and it is normally in a similar format to the following: You will be able to run this code: <code> <moreCodeyStuff> .....
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1answer
81 views

Opening and closing a letter - is there a name for this style?

Sorry if this isn’t the right place for this question, but I’ve Googled high and low and found nothing. I’ve noticed that some letters start and close with handwriting, e.g. “Dear Mrs Smith” and “...
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22 views

Correct way to bold/italicize list of items [closed]

I am wondering if I were to embolden or italicize a list of items separated by comma, should I just stylize the individual items, or also including the commas (and possibly "and")? Example 1: I ...
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42 views

Media writing: beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions

I understand that in many contexts it is appropriate to begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, and I am aware that variations of this question have been asked here many times. Mine, however,...
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2answers
250 views

What is the correct usage of hyphens with ranges (as in “a 5 to 10 minute rest”)?

I'm having issues with figuring out which is correct: "The teacher told the students to take a 5 to 10 minute rest." "The teacher told the students to take a 5-to-10 minute rest." "The teacher told ...
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1answer
135 views

What is the history of the cursive p?

A friend of mine (relevant detail, he grew up and learned cursive in India) recently remarked to me that he missed the way that cursive "p"s used to be written. An example of this can be seen in the ...
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253 views

'Amidst of' vs. 'Amidst'

I'm reading 'The Well at the World's End' by William Morris. I'm curious about some of the syntax he's used to invoke an archaic style. For instance, 'amidst of': '. . . he came on a shepherd lying ...
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Difficulty understanding Writing Prompt

I do not understand what the person means by ampliative and reductive aspects and conditions for transparency and embodiment? I looked up the definitions but I don't understand what their context ...
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Are there any guidelines for proper use of “creative” capitalization within in a technical report?

I am trying to edit a report that seems to have a lot of common nouns capitalized. My job is to edit for consistency of this style, which I am not familiar with. Does anyone have experience with what ...